Writing science in plain English video

*Don’t forget about the ongoing contest for 10% off your next edit! Figure out how to parse the buffalo sentence from Monday’s post before my reveal tomorrow morning and you could win!*

If you’re looking for some good productive procrastination today, take 30 minutes to watch this video about how to write science in plain English. Dr. Lynn Dicks at the University of Cambridge gives a talk full of helpful tips supported by examples that leave you wondering why we’re not taught to write that way already. You should watch it yourself to have the reasoning and examples fleshed out, but here’s the distilled version:

  • Write like you would talk to someone
  • Put important messages at the start
  • Write short sentences
  • One sentence one idea
  • Vary the rhythm
  • Break the text into small chunks
  • Avoid making nouns from verbs
  • Avoid jargon
  • Avoid long words
  • Do not be afraid of repetition
  • Avoid acronyms
  • Cut out redundant words
  • Use the active voice

1 thought on “Writing science in plain English video

  1. Pingback: Not all jargon is created equal | Science Refinery


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